KIOWA PAINTER TSA TO KEE (MONROE TSATOKE) BORN—MEMBER OF THE “KIOWA SIX”
Born near Saddle Mountain, Oklahoma (OK) Territory, Tsa To Kee meant “Hunting Horse” and was the name of his father, a cavalry scout. His father passed to his son knowledge that resulted in culturally specific paintings such as Dog Soldiers. He was instructed in painting at Bacone College in Muskogee, OK, and at University of OK where he joined the group of Kiowa artists known as the “Kiowa Six.” Additionally, Tsatoke was chief singer for Kiowa ceremonials for many years. He memorized songs from many different tribes. Becoming a member of the Native American Church, his paintings recorded many of the ceremonies’ symbols. His works are held in the collections of the Gilcrease Museum, the Philbrook Museum of Art, the Heard Museum in Phoenix, the Cleveland Museum of Art, and the Museum of the American Indian in New York. In 1934, the Oklahoma Historical Society commissioned him to do a series of murals which he worked on until his death on February 3, 1937.
Source: Mary Jo Watson, “Tsatoke, Monroe (1904–1937),” Oklahoma Historical Society. Retrieved 7/17/2020, https://www.okhistory.org/publications/enc/entry.php?entry=TS001&l=. Painting: Monroe Tsatoke (1904-1937). War Dancer, ca. 1915-1937, gouache on paper, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Corbin-Henderson Collection, Gift of Alice H. Rossin, 1979.144.82. Courtesy of Smithsonian American Art Museum.